Green Food Products
Here's nine reasons why plastic, Styrofoam and recyclable supplies have to go!
- Adverse Health Effects: Styrofoam is made with benzene and styrene, both of which are carcinogens. Both chemicals have been linked to leukemia and Parkinson’s disease while styrene, in particular, has been linked to abnormal lung function in plant workers.
- Not-So-Biodegradable: Out of sight, out of mind. It’s easy to forget about our trash after the garbage truck has carried it away. However, according to some studies, the biodegrading process in landfills can suddenly stop, or not even start, as expected with products like newspapers.
- Wasting Away for Years: Paper products aside, it’s incredible to think how long Styrofoam and plastics can last in landfills. Plastic water bottles, for example, can take up to 450 years to decompose. Even worse, Styrofoam can take up landfill space for more than 5,000 years!
- Truths About Who Recycles: Though we all understand the importance of recycling, the harsh truth is that few people actually follow through. Recycle Across America states that only 35% of households recycle in the United States. This number drops to a staggering 10% for businesses.
- Passing on Opportunities: These poor percentages are appalling when we consider the plentiful opportunities people have to recycle. Recycle Across America further explained that Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every year. Even more impressive, “Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to NY,” every year.
- Once is Enough: According to EcoWatch, 50 percent of the plastic we use is only used once before being thrown away. Anyone take a trip to the grocery store lately?
- Environmental Impact: Styrofoam production consumes a significant amount of energy and involves the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These chemicals cause damage to the ozone layer.
- Impact on Land and Marine Life: According to the Clean Water Action, plastics comprised around 90 percent of floating marine debris as of 2011. Plastics break into smaller and smaller pieces, making them easy to be mistaken for food by marine animals. Plastic products, especially bags, also pose a serious threat to land animal life. Birds and other animals can easily mistake bags for food, resulting in choking or the inability to move from getting tangled.
- One Hundred Years of Waste: EcoWatch also stated that in the ten years prior to 2014 we produced more waste than during the entire 20th century.